As a Disney Vacation Planner, I LOVE to help people plan their first trip to Walt Disney World. But what’s even MORE fun is helping someone plan their second trip.
You’ll be able to do a whole lot more this time! Things you didn’t have a chance to do on your first visit, and some things you didn’t even know about last time.
Here are the…
Top 11 Reasons Why Your Second Trip To Walt Disney World Will Be Better Than Your First
1. You Won’t Be As Overwhelmed
During your first visit to Walt Disney World, let’s face it: you were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size of everything. It takes everyone a few days just to wrap their heads around both the size of the property as well as the amount of stuff to do! During your second visit, you’ll know what to expect. You’ll be able to navigate the transportation system better, you’ll know where your favourite attractions are located, and you’ll spend a lot less time figuring out how to get around and a lot more time having fun.
Spend less time getting there and more time being there.
2. You Can Start To Appreciate The Details
During your first visit, you were running from one attraction to the next. You probably didn’t notice a fraction of the little details, and fun gags and references hidden throughout the parks and resorts.
This time, you’ll be able to appreciate the details a bit more. Take a look at the windows on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, delve a bit deeper into Epcot’s World Showcase pavilions (especially Morocco, UK and Japan), enjoy the walking trails at Animal Kingdom and watch the Streetmosphere characters at Hollywood Studios. And don’t forget to search for Hidden Mickeys!
Appreciate the details in well-themed areas, like Epcot’s UK Pavilion.
3. Do Your Favourites Again, Skip The Ones You Didn’t Love
During that first trip, you probably tried to experience EVERYTHING. This includes some attractions that many guests find to be underwhelming. If there’s something you didn’t love the first time, skip it this time. Don’t waste your time on spinning rides if they made you nauseous last time. And stay away from Stitch’s Great Escape!
Did you adore the Haunted Mansion, Spaceship Earth, Expedition Everest or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster? Ride them twice this time!
Enjoy your favourites again and again, like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
4. Experience The Stuff That Veteran Disney Fans Won’t Shut Up About
Now that you’re coming back, it’s time that you begin to appreciate the things that all the veterans love. Have a Dole Whip in Adventureland, ride Carousel of Progress and the Peoplemover in Tomorrowland, try that gigantic turkey leg (bring a large Ziploc bag with you, in case you can’t finish it) and taste Beverley at Epcot’s Club Cool – you’ll LOVE it!
Dole Whip: Is it worth the hype? Spoiler Alert: Yes, it is.
5. Spend More Time Browsing The Stores
Save your money for this one! If you’re going to spend more time browsing the stores on Disney property, be prepared to make some difficult decisions.
Spend a lot more time (and money) shopping.
I really LOVE The Art Of Disney, both at Epcot and Disney Springs. I’ve spent a bit TOO much money there. Speaking of Disney Springs, I also love the Marketplace Co-Op, which features lots of really cool art, housewares and clothing.
In the parks, I’m a big fan of Mousegears at Epcot, which sells lots of vintage-looking Disney Parks apparel. I also like browsing the stores at Hollywood Studios’s Sunset Boulevard.
6. A Great Chance To Start A New Tradition
If you think this won’t be your LAST time visiting Walt Disney World, start a new tradition. Find one of your favourite photos from your last visit, and recreate it, standing in the same position, at the same location. Each time you come back, you’ll keep recreating that photo and after a few years, it becomes an amazing keepsake.
Two photos taken at the same spot, Fulton’s Crab House (now Paddlefish).
My wife and I also love shopping at the Christmas shops in each park. Every time we visit, we buy (at least) one Christmas Tree decorations, to help us remember that trip. Most decorations are under $10, so it’s a very affordable tradition. One of our favourites is a pickle from the pickle tree at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion.
One of our favourite Christmas Tree ornaments, from Epcot’s Germany Pavilion.
7. Pins, baby! PINS!!!
BEWARE: Pin Trading is very addictive and can become an expensive habit. If you love the collectable, official enamel Disney Pins that you see throughout the park, start small. We like to purchase a pin for each resort we stay at, as a souvenir of that hotel stay. If you see a pin for a less-popular character or attraction that you love, BUY IT NOW – it’s possible that you’ll never find it again.
During your second trip, it’s fun to purchase an inexpensive starter pack, full of pins to trade with Disney Cast Members. Also, it becomes a Pokemon-like hunt, going into each pin store and looking for something new. I especially love the store in Adventureland, as well as the kiosk in front of Epcot’s Fountain of Nations.
8. You’ll Have Enough Time To Visit Another Resort
Because you’ve already done most of the “must-dos”, spend some time exploring another resort. Take a bus (or an inexpensive, time-saving Uber ride) to a Disney Deluxe Resort! I recommend Animal Kingdom Lodge or Wilderness Lodge, or doing a tour of the three Monorail Resorts or the three Boardwalk Area Resorts.
The lobby at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Each of these deluxe resorts feature beautiful, well-themed grounds, excellent dining options and resort-specific shopping. This is a great way to spend your arrival day or to enjoy a leisurely day off from the parks.
9. You’ll Have More Opportunities To Enjoy A Meal
During your first visit, you likely enjoyed a lot of in-park dining. There are SO many other wonderful options that you probably haven’t tried yet – Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern, Epcot’s Biergarten, Hollywood Studios’s 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Sci-Fi Dine-In and Hollywood Brown Derby, to name just a few!
Sci-Fi Dine-In at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Plan to have a few more sit-down meals this time. If planning to have dinner, be sure to time it carefully, so you won’t miss the fireworks at night. I also love doing Table Service lunches, then leaving the parks for a mid-day break, soon after.
During your second visit, I highly recommend trying one of the INCREDIBLE restaurants at other resorts. For something fancy, try California Grill, Flying Fish, Jiko or Yachtsman Steakhouse. For something fun, I recommend ‘Ohana, Cape May Cafe, Whispering Canyon or Beaches & Cream.
10. You Can Take In A Few More Shows
Walt Disney World has many wonderful shows for you to enjoy throughout the day. During our first visit together, my wife and I were too busy bouncing from ride to ride, to really appreciate them.
Every visit since then, we’ve made a point to see more shows, and some of them really wowed us (Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Flights Of Wonder, Finding Nemo: The Musical) and others that disappointed us (Beauty & The Beast: The Musical, Fantasmic). I happen to think that you should do everything at least once, so make time to see a show or two!
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
11. You Know That This Clearly Won’t Be Your Last Time
The first time I visited Walt Disney World with my wife, it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime trip. But the second time we visited, it became clear that it would NOT be the last time. Clearly, we loved it enough to come back once, so of course we’d find a way to return – if not soon, someday.
This realization was like flipping a switch for us. We didn’t feel so pressured to do everything, because we understood that we’d have another opportunity someday. This is the moment we slowed down and began to appreciate our surroundings a bit more.
Have even MORE fun on your second visit!
I hope this list has helped to inspire your triumphant return to the Vacation Kingdom. Please comment below, sharing your experiences from your second Walt Disney World visit and how it compared to the first.